Sunday, August 31, 2008

Raspberry & Chocolate Éclairs

I was really excited when I found out that this month's daring baker challenge was Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé. I decided to go with a pretty pink raspberry pastry cream filling for my eclairs. I loved the color of the pastry cream but I loved the way it tasted even more.
The Éclairs were a little bit more challenging to make than I thought it would be... I had problems with the éclairs deflating. Also all of my eclairs turned out to be all different shapes and sizes. All the same, they tasted pretty yummy.
Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé RECIPE

Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough Recipe
½ cup (125g) whole milk
½ cup (125g) water
1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the boil.
2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough will be very soft and smooth.
3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your hand mixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.
4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

Directions for Baking:
1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper.
2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers.Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff. The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.
3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.

Raspberry Pastry Cream Recipe
2 cups (500g) whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75g) sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
7 oz fresh raspberrys
2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.
2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.
3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the crushed fresh raspberries and then remove the pan from the heat.
4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.
5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.

Directions for filling pastry with cream:
1) Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.
2) The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops ofthe éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the bottoms with the pastry cream.
3) Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream and wriggle gently to settle them.

Chocolate Glaze Recipe
1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.
2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce Recipe (makes 1½ cups or 525 g)
4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 g) water
½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.
2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.
I also made a regular vanilla flavored pastry cream filling for half of my batch. The simple flavor of these eclairs were more popular than the raspberry filling. I think that I would have re-done this challenge if I had more time/money/patience because I can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes. These éclairs were far from perfect but they were satisfying anyways.


hot garlic said...

Hi Lina! Thanks for stopping by my blog. What a great blog you have too! Your éclairs look great and I would have never thought to do Raspberry Cream. I am posting my challenge later today...

I love Quesadillas too, yours look great. I hope to see you around again!

Leslie said...

Love love love all the pink! And sooo did my daughter when she saw this picture!!!
Beautiful photots and yummy eclairs!!

VeggieGirl said...

Éclairs are definitely challenging to make; but you make it look easy!! You did WONDERFUL!! And I love that you made them chocolate & raspberry - such a classic flavor combination!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Lina I also looooooooooove the color of you pink pastry cream! So delicate and beautiful! You did great!

::Christine:: said...

I can't believe you made that! Just fabulous! =)

That Girl said...

I really like the pink and brown together though, so cute!

pixxienix said...

You know Lina, this raspberry idea of yours is so tantalizing that I had to stop a couple of times to imagine what it must taste like! So Yummy!

Emiline said...

You rock! I love chocolate and raspberry together.

ila said...

wow, that looks delicious! i love pierre herme but his recipes look so daunting, especially cause i suck at baking.

Courtney said...

your eclairs look so beautiful, love raspberries!

Bellini Valli said...

Your raspberry eclairs are very innovative. Very creative idea Lina:D

Dhanggit said...

everything is beautiful Lina!! the flavors you put, the colors, the plate oh gosh im drooling!! im in love!!

Ann said...

Beautiful eclairs looks lovely in pink!
Ann at Redacted Recipes

Gloria (Canela) said...

Lina, yours eclairs are really fantastic and look yummy and I love your china, what lovely dishes!!! xGloria

Eat4Fun said...

Your eclairs look great! The raspberry pastry cream looks so decadent. I also think the photos are wonderful too!

Kevin said...

Nice looking eclairs! I like the raspberry pastry cream!

Lunch Buckets said...

Very nice! Pink is my favorite pastry flavor :)

Dawn said...

Raspberry sauce...mmmmm. Oh man I love it this way.

Tanya said...

Yum - these look so good! Great job!

Adam said...

Lina, those are pretty perfect looking :) Maybe the only way they could be more perfect would be if they were in my stomach :)

Lisa said...

Great eclairs! And your plates are so pretty.

Bridgett said...

Such pretty plates! I love the combination of the chocolate and raspberry and this sounds delicious. Quite and involved recipe! You did a gorgeous job!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow something new here. Looks gr8.

Laurie said...

Oh my goodness, they look gorgeous.. and I love your tea set!! :)

Sophie said...

These are too cute :). I looove the pink, so delicate and girlie! Lovely job :D.

Y said...

Pretty in pink indeed! :)

Elle said...

Beautiful! And same with me--very excited, harder than I thought, and all different shapes and sizes, haha! Beautiful photos!

Cynthia said...

I want to come to tea :)

Daziano said...

Love it! And the photos are so cute and girly in a good way!!!

appropriated.muffin said...

that is the most charming china i've ever seen!!! definitely a complement for the yummy eclairs...

Danielle said...

love the pics!

Mary-Laure said...

Pierre Herme is the supreme god of pastry, isn't he...

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